The Wyoming Department of Health has recommended "targeted use of personal face coverings" amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended wearing cloth face coverings while in public late last week.

Wyoming State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist said in a Monday news release that it's becoming clear some people can transmit COVID-19 before they have symptoms.

“This means the virus can spread between people who are close to each other without them realizing it is happening. That’s the reason for this change and new recommendation,” Harrist said.

Harrist was clear that the state health department is still urging residents to stay home as much as possible. However, wearing a face-covering is an extra voluntary measure health officials recommend for those who must venture out.

Health officials acknowledge that cloth face coverings are not the same as surgical masks or N-95 respirators. But, they still offer a degree of extra protection.

Cloth face coverings can be adapted from common items and materials for a low cost. Children younger than 2-years-old, people who have difficulty breathing and people who can't take off the covering without help should not wear the coverings.

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